Background: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in male in most Western countries, including France. Despite a significant morbidity and mortality to a lesser extent, the etiology of prostate cancer remains largely unknown. Indeed, the only well-established risk factors to date are age, ethnicity and a family history of prostate cancer. We present, here, the rationale and design of the EPIdemiological study of Prostate CAncer (EPICAP), a population-based case–control study specifically designed to investigate the role of environmental and genetic factors in prostate cancer. The EPICAP study will particularly focused on the role of circadian disruption, chronic inflammation, hormonal and metabolic factors in the occurrence of prostate cancer. Methods/Design: EPICAP is a population-based case–control study conducted in the département of Hérault in France. Eligible cases are all cases of prostate cancers newly diagnosed in 2012-2013 in men less than 75 years old and residing in the département of Hérault at the time of diagnosis. Controls are men of the same age as the cases and living in the département of Hérault, recruited in the general population.The sample will include a total of 1000 incident cases of prostate cancer and 1000 population-based controls over a 3-year period (2012-2014).The cases and controls are face-to-face interviewed using a standardized computed assisted questionnaire. The questions focus primarily on usual socio-demographic characteristics, personal and family medical history, lifestyle, leisure activities, residential and occupational history. Anthropometric measures and biological samples are also collected for cases and controls. Discussion: The EPICAP study aims to answer key questions in prostate cancer etiology: (1) role of circadian disruption through the study of working hours, chronotype and duration/quality of sleep, (2) role of chronic inflammation and anti-inflammatory drugs, (3) role of hormonal and metabolic factors through a detailed questionnaire, (4) role of individual genetic susceptibility of genes involved in biological pathways of interest. The EPICAP study will also allow us to study prognostic factors and tumor aggressiveness.Taken together, the EPICAP study will provide a comprehensive framework to go further in the understanding of prostate cancer occurrence and its prognosis.